Matthew Priestley

Ponytails are often written off as the lazy-girl's hairstyle. You know, the kind of thing you wear to yoga class or for Saturday morning errands. But just because the look is quick, doesn't mean it can't be chic. Introducing five gorgeous ponies that are anything but basic. Now, which one to try first?

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1. SOFTEN WITH SOME TEXTURE
Matthew Priestley

"A high ponytail is a power ponytail," says Cash Lawless, the New York City pro who created the looks for this shoot. And the messiness of this one keeps it from being too severe. To copy it, spritz damp hair with Suave Sea Mineral Infusion Sea Salt Spray, then blow-dry with your hands for a tousled effect. Make a tight ponytail and use your finger or the end of a rattail comb to loosen the strands in the front and around the band. "Massage the hair near your ear so that it naturally falls down," says Lawless. "It's a nice feminine touch."

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2. BRAID THE TAIL
Matthew Priestley

You don't need advanced braiding skills to do this style, but there is a trick to getting the right amount of smoothness in the front: "Don't apply serum until after you make the ponytail. If you do it before, you hair will be slippery and the band will slide out of place," says Lawless. He suggests spritzing a texturizing spray on dry hair, over the area where you're going to place an elastic band. One we like: Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray. After securing your pony at mid-height, apply a serum like Joico K-Pak Protect and Shine Serum onto the tail and braid it down to just above the ends. "The serum will add beautiful gloss and uniformity to the hair," says Lawless. When you're done braiding, flatten any bumps with a rattail comb, and you're all set!

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3. USE TWO ELASTICS
Matthew Priestley

"What makes a ponytail interesting is what you do to it after you secure the base," says Jenny Cho, a Suave celebrity hairstylist in Los Angeles. Exhibit A: This graphic 'do. To re-create it, apply a bit of Suave Moroccan Infusion Styling Oil to damp hair for smoothness and shine, then do a blow-out. Secure hair at the nape of your neck with an elastic band, then (here comes the twist) add another elastic a few inches down from the first one. So chic!

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4. GO DEEP & DRAMATIC
Matthew Priestley

When you want a simple, desk-to-dinner style, this sleek side-part is a supereasy option. To tame flyaways, apply a smoothing cream like Redken Outshine 01 Anti-Frizz Polishing Milk before you blow-dry. Next, create the perfect part. "Use the arch of your eyebrow as guide," says Cho. "I like angling the part slightly toward the center as opposed to going straight back—sometimes that can look like a combover!" Add a bit more cream around your hairline and on your ends after you pull your hair back.

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5. TIE ON A RIBBON
Matthew Priestley

The looseness of this ponytail, along with the romantic ribbon, is what gives it a fresh, feminine vibe. The key to nailing it? "You have to tease the hair underneath in order for the shape to hold," Lawless. Grab a brush or a fine-tooth comb and tease all around your crown. Smooth over the top layer to hide the messy texture, then make a low ponytail. Use your fingers to gently tug your hair out of the elastic enough so that it drapes around your ears and neck. Mist the style with Suave Luxe Plump Hold Hairspray, then finish off your pony with a pretty ribbon.


A.L.C. Silk Back Crepe Olivia Top, $345, Available at Saksfifthavneue.com
Model: Camila Costa/IMG
Makeup Artist: Morgane Martini
Hairstylist: Cash Lawless


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Matthew Priestley

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